Table of Contents
The Bentonville Seventh-day Adventist School is operated by the Bentonville Seventh-day Adventist Church under the direction of the Arkansas-Louisiana Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, following policies / guidelines of the Southwestern Union Conference and the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventist.
The school has primarily been established to educate the youth of our church; however, students from other religious backgrounds will be accepted under certain conditions and if space is available. The Bentonville Seventh-day Adventist School admits students of any race, color, nationality, or ethnic origin to all rights, privileges, programs, or other school administered events. In all cases, the standards of the Seventh-day Adventist Church will be maintained.
The Bentonville Seventh-day Adventist School is not equipped to offer Special Education and is therefore unable to accept pupils who have serious scholastic or behavioral problems; mentally disabled or has other diagnosed learning disabilities that would pose a challenge in a multi-grade class setting.
A child who will reach the age of four years old by September 1 of the current school year may apply for admission to the Pre-Kindergarten program.
Children entering Kindergarten must be five years old by September 1 of the current school year. Also, a prospective pre-kindergartner or kindergartner must be able to tend to his/her toileting needs independently.
A child who will reach the age of six by September 1 of the current school year may apply for admission to first grade. New Students entering the first grade will need proof (by report card and/or testing) that they have met the required Kindergarten Skills.
All students applying for admission for the first time are required by state law to present a birth certificate at the time of registration as proof of age.
State law requires that all students must present a certified immunization record indicating the date and type of immunization received. Registration is not complete until this information is on file (or a copy of correspondence indicating the information has been sent for). This record must be signed by a licensed physician or an authorized public health representative.
NOTE: Exemptions to this state law may be applied for Arkansas Health Department in Little Rock. However, it is important to note that the Seventh-day Adventist Church does not conscientiously object to immunizations.
All immunizations should be up to date or in process before a student may begin classes.
The minimum immunization requirements for Arkansas are:
All new students and their parents will need to meet with the principal and/or the child’s prospective teacher for a short, informal interview before registration is considered complete. At this time, various topics will be discussed and arrangement for testing, if needed, will be made.
Transcript of Previous Education
All students transferring from other schools will be required to present a transcript of all previous work before registration will be considered complete. Testing will be used in certain situations to help determine grade level.
Unpaid /Delayed Tuition Accounts
Without prior approval, no student will be allowed to enroll whose account from a previous year is unpaid. When there are special circumstances which prevent full payment before the beginning of a new school year, the final decision on admission will be made by the School Board.
If a parent expects some difficulty which prevents payment of the tuition on a timely basis, arrangements must be made in advance and approved by the School Board.
The Arkansas-Louisiana Conference requires a physical examination for all NEW students and all students entering the 5th grade. This information must be on file by the end of the second week of school. Failure to comply will result in the removal of the child from school until such exam is completed.
Acceptance of Student Applications
The final decision on all applications for admission will be made by the School Board. The following items (in addition to those listed previously in this section) will be considered by the School Board before admission:
High scholastic standards are essential for an education that will help prepare our children for life in an increasingly complex world. We are committed to providing the best teaching tools and the most effective methods to enrich the lives of the students who attend our school. Our academic program meets or exceeds the educational requirements of the State of Arkansas and the Department of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
Progress report cards will be issued four times a year. Parents may expect an interim report midway through the nine weeks period if their child’s grades fall below a “C” average. If a question about student progress arises at any time during the year, parents should feel free to contact the teacher concerned. Final report cards are mailed when financial accounts are current.
Parent-Teacher conferences will be scheduled twice a year. Additional conferences may be arranged by parents or by teachers as a specific need becomes apparent.
Students are expected to turn in assignments on time. Students should not waste time at school with the excuse that they will do the work at home. Our school follows the following recommended formula for acceptable homework. Starting with the first grade, teachers will use the 10 minutes per grade level guideline. Examples: 1st grade would be 10 minutes while a 6th grader could have 60 minutes. This fomula does not include the nightly required reading or working on special projects. Students should keep all papers and assignment sheets until the end of the nine weeks grading period in case there is a question on the completion of their school work or if the student fails to turn in assignments on time. Students will be allowed two days for each excused absence, to make up missed work.
“In the formation of character, no other influence counts so much as the influence of the home. The teacher’s work should supplement that of the parents, but it is not to take its place. In all that concerns the well-being of the child, it should be the effort of parents and teachers to cooperate.” EDUCATION, p. 283
“The parents’ work of education, instruction, and discipline underlies every other. The efforts of the best teachers must often bear little fruit, if fathers and mothers fail to act their part with faithfulness.” FUNDAMENTALS OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION, p. 69.
As noted above, the success of the school depends in a large measure upon the fullest cooperation between parents and teachers. Your involvement and support are vital to your child’s success. The following suggestions for parental involvement will contribute to a more effective school program:
If a misunderstanding and/or problem arises between teachers, principal, and/or parents, it is very important that it be dealt with quickly and in a Christ-like fashion (Matthew Chapter 18:15, 16). The Arkansas-Louisiana Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has a Complaint Procedure (see appendix A) that should be followed in resolving such cases. It is crucial that this procedure be followed.
The School Day
School begins at 8:00 a.m. and dismissal is at 3:15 p.m., except on Friday when dismissal is at 1:00 p.m. Students should arrive no earlier than 7:45 a.m. and be picked up no later than 3:30 p.m. If, on occasion, for any reason, a child must arrive at school more than 15 minutes early, or remain more than 15 minutes after school, arrangements must be made in advance with the school.
If a child must arrive before 7:45 a.m. or leave after 3:30 p.m. on a regular basis, arrangements must be made in advance with the school secretary and/or the principal, to see if the care is available. If either before-school or after-school care is provided, there will be an additional charge to cover the extra expenses (labor, supplies/materials, and the additional insurance required) for those approved.
Bentonville Seventh-day Adventist School has adopted a closed-campus policy. Students will be restricted to the school grounds from their arrival at school until their parents or guardian picks them up after school. Exceptions apply to field trips and other school-sponsored outings.
No child will be dismissed from school until the parent, guardian, or a person designated by the parent/guardian personally calls for the child. Parents/guardians should designate, in writing, at registration time the names of people who are permitted to transport their children. In addition, a note to teachers on a day when there is an exception will be required.
It is very disruptive to the classroom atmosphere when students are late to school and/or when they are picked up early. Parents who expect that their child will have to be taken out of school early for a doctor’s appointment, etc. should notify the teacher in advance. Students who are late or must leave early should enter/exit the classroom with the minimum disruption to the class.
Parents may arrange to take their children out to lunch on occasion. If this is desired, teachers should be notified in advance as much as possible.
Parents should not take their child off school grounds during the day without personally making sure that the teacher is aware that the student is leaving.
IF A PARENT/GUARDIAN IS TAKING THE CHILD OUT OF SCHOOL DURING SCHOOL HOURS, THE PARENT IS REQUIRED TO STOP IN THE OFFICE FIRST –NOT THE CLASSROOM- AND SIGN THE STUDENT OUT.
IF THE IDENTITY OF THE PERSON SIGNING OUT THE STUDENT IS NOT READILY KNOWN TO THE OFFICE STAFF OR LISTED ON TRANSPORTATION CONCENT FORM, A PICTURE IDENTIFICATION WILL BE REQUIRED AND A COPY MADE BEFORE THE CHILD IS RELEASED. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Students of the Bentonville Seventh-day Adventist School are subject to the compulsory attendance laws of the State of Arkansas. This means that attendance is required by all students. Parents are legally accountable to see that the child meets attendance requirements. The only excusable reasons for a student’s absence are the student’s illness; medical and dental services; death in the immediate family or Mission trips. Mission trips must be approved in advance by the school board and are not to exceed more than ten (10) school days. All class work must be kept current. When a student is absent for any reason, the State requires a written excuse signed by the parent or guardian which states the date of the absence and the reason for the absence. A phone call does not negate the need for a written note.
A note from a doctor may be required in some cases. These must be submitted to the teacher when the child returns to school. Students with excused absences will be permitted to make up any work that was missed on the basis of two school days to make up assignments for each day of excused absence.
If you know that your child will be missing school for medical or personal reasons, please notify the teacher in advance so academic assignments may be arranged.
School is in session 180 days during the school year.
When a student has been absent (unexcused) from school for a total of five (7) days, the parent will be sent a letter explaining the absence policy in detail. Parents are requested to indicate by contacting the school that they understand the policy.
When a student has been absent (unexcused) from school for a total of seven (14) days, the parents will be sent a registered letter requesting a parent/student/principal conference. The principal will verbally explain the serious consequences of excessive absences.
When a student has been absent (unexcused) from school for a total of ten (21) days, the parents will be notified by registered letter that the county juvenile judge will be notified in writing that the student has violated the state minimum attendance requirement. The parent or guardian may be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Students are expected to be present when the school day begins, or they will be counted tardy. Teachers will take attendance promptly at and/or when the last bell rings. If a student arrives after 10:15 a.m., it will be recorded as having a ½ day absence. Likewise, if a student leaves prior to 1:15 p.m., it will be recorded as having a ½ day absence. All tardies are unexcused except for Dr. appointments, unpreventable issues (i.e. accidents, vehicle problems) etc. Tardies will be recorded as part of the student’s permanent record. Work and activities missed when a child is tardy will be made up at the discretion of the teacher.
If a student is tardy a parent must sign the student in with the secretary before they are allowed in the classroom
If the Bentonville Public Schools are closed, we will be closed also. When school is cancelled due to weather, announcements will be made on TV station -KHOG (channel 40 / 29 with an antenna and channel 7 on cable) and/or KPOM (channel 51 / 24 with an antenna and channel 9 on cable) and Radio Station- KURM Radio 790 AM for the Bentonville public schools. If you feel that it is unsafe for you to attempt to bring your child to school, please stay at home. The absence will be considered excused.
In the event of unscheduled school cancellations due to inclement weather, make-up days will need to be scheduled. Make-up days will be set by the school board and parents will be notified of the change.
Three times of being tardy equals one absence when calculating attendance awards.
Students with Fever and/or Contagious Conditions
Please do not send children to school who have a fever and/or have had a fever within the last 24 hours. Also, please do not send your child to school if you suspect that he/she has a contagious illness. If students should develop any symptoms of illness during the school day, parents will be notified as soon as possible so that they may pick up their child. Students should not return to school until they have been asymptomatic (no symptoms or fever) for 24 hours.
Exemptions from P.E.
If for any reason a student is to be exempted from P.E. activities, parents must send a note stating the reason the student is to be excused. If the nature of the situation requires exemption for more than one week, a note from a physician will be necessary.
We want our students to realize that development of sound character is one of the primary objectives of Christian education. Good character is valued highly by God and man. It is understood that every pupil who presents himself/herself for admission to the school pledges to observe willingly all its regulations and to uphold the Christian principles upon which the school is operated.
A basic component of the philosophy of our school is that discipline is “discipling” or “training” rather than punishment. Parents should consider the school’s disciplinary policy as an extension of their own efforts to train their children to be self-disciplined and well-balanced individuals. Students should consider the school’s disciplinary policy as an aid to becoming a self-disciplined person. The greater self-discipline a person practices, the less external discipline will be required by the school.
Standards of Conduct
Our standards are based upon Christian principles of conduct as taught and practiced by the
To achieve this standard of conduct, the following guidelines have been adopted by the School Board:
n Students are expected to show respect and reverence for God and spiritual things.
n Students are expected to be law-abiding citizens of their community and school.
n Students are expected to exhibit high moral principles in their conduct. They are expected to avoid even the appearance of evil in their behavior (This includes romantic display of affection).
n Students are expected to demonstrate a positive Christian attitude.
The following are examples of behavior that is NOT acceptable at our school:
n Physical or verbal abuse of teachers and/or other students. (See Bullying Policy Pg.16)
n Disrespect toward the teacher or rebellion against the teacher’s authority.
n Destruction of school property or another student’s property.
n Dishonesty (lying, cheating, or stealing).
n Leaving the school grounds without permission.
n Profanity or lewd conduct.
n Any displays of romantic affection and/or gestures.
n Using or possessing alcoholic beverages, drugs, or tobacco.
n Gambling, betting, possession of playing cards, or other gambling devices.
n Using or possessing any games, cards (such as Pokemon), etc. that do not portray Christian values.
n Bringing knives, firearms, fireworks, or explosives on the school grounds or to school activities or any replica, toy, etc. of such items.
Students engaging in these forms of behavior face immediate suspension, pending a vote of the School Board to consider the expulsion of that student from school.
Any student whose general attitude or conduct is considered antagonistic to the spirit, program, or discipline of the school will be subject to dismissal. The school board has designated the principal/teachers as the persons responsible for the enforcement of all school regulations.
All regulations adopted by the school board and communicated to the parents/students in written form have the same authority as those published in this handbook.
Teachers are expected to deal with routine classroom discipline problems. Disciplinary measures that seem reasonable to the teacher will be administered to students who break classroom rules or interfere with learning privileges of other students. An attempt will be made to match the discipline with the misbehavior. The following are approved disciplinary actions:
Harassment & Anti-Bullying Policy
School Dress Standards
It is the responsibility of parents to monitor what their children wear to school each day. If a student comes to school improperly dressed, parents will be notified and may have to come to school that day to bring alternate clothing for their child/ren. Also, teachers may have alternate clothing available for students to wear should the need arise.
The basic dress suggested for students includes:
For girls - dresses, skirts, jeans, slacks, sport or dress blouses, sweaters, sweatshirts, T-shirts, shoes with socks or hosiery, hair that is neat and well-groomed.
For boys – jeans, slacks, sport or dress shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts, T-shirts, shoes with socks, hair that is trimmed, clean, and well-groomed. Sweat pants are not acceptable for classroom wear.
Shorts are allowed as outer clothing only during the months of August, September, April and May. Please see note below regarding length of shorts.
The following guidelines are intended to assist parents in the selection of clothing for school:
Clothing which has become worn, faded, and in need of repair should not be worn to school. Some blouses and shirts may need to be tucked in. Boys’ hair that is excessively long or hangs over the eyes is NOT acceptable.
Pictures (including cartoon characters) or wording on T-shirts, blouses, shirts, or sweatshirts should reflect good values (not offensive to gender, race, nationality, government or religion). Thermal undershirts worn as outer garment and sleeveless sports jerseys are NOT considered appropriate school attire. Caps, hats, bandannas, sunglasses or any other “head wear” are not to be worn by students during class time. If headdress is worn because of religious reasons, permission must be obtained from the School Board prior to registration.
Dresses and skirts should come to within an inch of the top of the knee or be longer. Shorts should be no shorter than 2 inches above the knee. Shorts may be worn underneath dresses or skirts (this is especially encouraged for girls in grades K-4). Tight clothing, sleeveless clothing and tank tops should NOT be worn. Shirts should be buttoned sufficiently to cover the chest. Blouses which allow the midriff to be exposed (in any situation, including bending over or raising arms) are not allowed.
For safety of Students:
Heelys (footwear with rollers), open-toed sandals, shoes with no back and/or no strap, thongs (flip-flops), and high heels are NOT considered safe to wear to school. This also includes any new footwear to be developed that would be considered unsafe. Students who wear dress shoes to school should bring a pair of tennis shoes/sneakers (no cleats) to wear during physical education time. Children will not be excused from P.E. because they have failed to wear or bring appropriate footwear. Socks are required with all types of footwear.
In God’s eyes, the inward adorning of a meek and quiet spirit is “of great price” as opposed to the outward adorning of “wearing of gold” and the “putting on of apparel” (I Peter 3:3, 4). Therefore, jewelry (including jewelry made from cloth, yarn, etc.), excessive cosmetics, body glitter, nail polish, tattoos, body painting (pictures/emblem/logo/etc, extreme or faddish styles of clothing, items that distract, and extreme or faddish hairstyles and colors are not considered necessary and should NOT be worn to school.
Teachers, as role models to their students, will dress modestly and professionally at all times taking into consideration the activities they will participate in on a given day.
An Extra Note for Kindergarten parents:
Please dress your kindergarten child in clothes that he/she can fasten and/or unfasten on their own (for toileting needs). Also, an extra set of clothes should be sent to school for emergency needs.
It cannot be overstated how imperative it is for parents to ensure their child/ren are dressed in compliance with the school’s dress standards. The school views this as a parental commitment and responsibility and believes that dress standard issues should be addressed and corrected at home rather than being addressed and corrected at school.
Eighth Grade Graduation
The eighth grade year is a special time for students at
Students in Grades 1-7 are usually invited by the 8th graders to have a special part in the program. In addition, 7th graders and/or their parents are asked to help with such things as decorating and perhaps serving at the reception. We encourage students and parents to support the 8th graders during the year and with their presence at the graduation program.
During the month of May there is also a separate graduation program for those kindergarten students going on to first grade the next year. Those finishing the first year of the two-year kindergarten program receive an appropriate certificate also so as to not be left out. Invitations for other lower grade classrooms to participate are encouraged. There is a reception following the program.
Field Trips/P.E. Activity Trips
Field trips can be an excellent supplement for educating students. Educational Field Trips and P.E. Activity Trips are scheduled throughout the school year. All field trips must have School Board approval as well as complying with the guidelines established by School Board. These trips are dependent upon having parental approval in writing and enough drivers who can help transport students to these destinations. Parents, grandparents, and others who can do this are very much appreciated.
It is important to note that all persons/vehicles transporting any student other than a parent’s own child must carry a minimum of $300,000/$100,000 liability insurance and have a copy on file in office.
Parents are encouraged to attend field trips whenever possible. It is understood that parents accompanying field trips are to work cooperatively under the teacher’s supervision to assist in organizing and monitoring the students. All dress codes established by teacher for the field trip will be followed by everyone in attendance.
Lice checks will be done as needed. We abide strictly to a no-nit policy. A student found with nits (even dead ones) in his/her hair will be sent home. The student has 48 hours in which to successfully treat the problem and return to school. All nits must be combed out. Seven to ten days after the student has returned to school, the child will be rechecked.
Pets are not to be brought to school unless it is a school activity planned in advance or prior permission has been granted. Classroom pets are an exception as long as they are caged and do not become a distraction to learning. Under no circumstances will any pet be given free access to roam the classroom, playground or school.
Lockers and Desks
Lockers and desks remain under the jurisdiction of the school even when they are assigned to individual students. Lockers are provided for students in Grades 1-8 to store such things as lunch boxes and coats. Using a lock is optional, however, only school-issued locks are allowed. These are combination locks with a key-bypass feature which allows teachers access to the lockers. The school reserves the right to inspect and/or search all lockers and desks any time there is reasonable cause to do so whether or not the student is present. The school cannot be responsible for items missing from desks or lockers. A replacement fee of $10.00 will be charged for any lock that is lost and/or damaged. Student desks and lockers should be kept neat and clean and free of writing, stickers, and gum both inside and out. Students are responsible for damages to lockers or desks caused by kicking locker doors, forcing locker doors open, tampering with lock mechanism, writing or scratching on lockers or desks, etc. Students should report any problem to their teacher immediately.
Parents and/or guardians should send a nutritious sack lunch to school each day. Microwave ovens are available for reheating food, but the limited time for lunch break does not allow for cooking food. Hot lunches will be available on selected days of the week. Advanced notice will be sent home along with a menu and price.
Seventh-day Adventists believe that their bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit (I Cor. ) and refrain from eating and drinking certain things that are considered harmful to their bodies. Therefore, students should not bring for their lunch any foods that contain pork (ham, sausage and pepperoni) products or drinks that contain caffeine. We also discourage children from bringing an excessive amount of sweets or food items that contain chocolate. Please check with your child’s teacher if you have any questions concerning a particular product.
On occasion, teachers plan special trips to Sonic and/or Subway. These are group excursions and parents are notified when these will occur. Other than these group trips, students should not plan to buy their lunch from these establishments. In addition, parent/students should not plan to call out for pizza or have delivery people come to the school to deliver lunch.
Outdoor school is an exciting week-long (Monday-Friday) field-based outdoor education opportunity for students in Grades 5-8 during the month of April. It is held at
Students are not required to attend; however, students who do not go to
Our school is equipped with a library from which students may check out books to read at school and/or at home. Students are allowed to bring books from home to read provided the teacher has approved. All books brought to school from home should be true-to-life (realistic) material of a character-building nature.
Distribution of Materials
All aspects of school-sponsored newsletters and/or yearbook are under the supervision of the Principal/Head-teacher. Written materials, handbills, photographs, pictures, petitions, films, tapes, or other visual or auditory materials may not be sold, circulated or distributed at school by a student or a non-student or parent without prior approval of Principal/Head-teacher and the School Board. All materials intended for distribution to students must be submitted for administrative review and approval. No signs, posters or pictures may be posted without prior approval. Signs are to be posted by school personnel only. Birthday invitations will only be distributed in the classroom if all students are invited; if not, please mail invitation to the individual’s home.
Teachers will determine the guidelines and arrangements that best suit these events (including birthdays and holidays) and will make this information available as needed. Any special arrangements for bringing refreshments for celebrations should be coordinated with the classroom teacher. See ‘Distribution of Materials’ when sending birthday invitations to school.
School Board Meetings
School board meetings are open to anyone who desires to observe. However, advance notice should be given to school board chairman, to assure there will be enough space for everyone attending. The visitors are guests and should only observe unless asked by board to do otherwise. When sensitive items are to be handled, the board may go into executive session and ask all visitors to temporarily leave while these items are dealt with. Any constituent of the school or parent may address the school board by obtaining prior permission from the school board chairman, who will then have their concern placed on the agenda.
At the beginning of the school year a basic calendar listing conference-approved dates for the school year (such as holidays and nine-week grading periods) will be distributed to parents in the school handbook. If any changes have to be made in the calendar as a month progresses, parents will be informed by the teachers (through notes and/or updated calendars that are sent home with the child).
School Newsletters and parent letters are also sent home during the year to keep parents informed of school happenings.
Textbooks are provided to each student on a loan basis. All K-8 books must be turned in to the teacher at the close of the school year. A charge will be made for the replacement of any book which is lost, damaged, or vandalized.
Students are expected to furnish their own pencils, pens, paper, crayons, notebooks, scissors, and other materials unless otherwise instructed (Kindergarten & 1st graders pay a fee at the time of registration to cover the cost for supplies furnished by teacher). Pictures on school supplies, including lunch boxes, should be of a character that does not conflict with good values. For example, school supplies with pictures of science fiction characters (such as Star Wars), characters associated with violence or certain cartoon characters (such as Pokemon), should not be brought to school.
In special cases some supplies may be purchased from the school. Supplies will be sold on a cash basis only.
Special Days/Show & Tell
Show & Tell is a popular occurrence in Grades K-4. Special arrangement must be made with the teacher at least one day in advance if a student desires to bring a pet or other live animal to school. In addition, the animal must be brought at the very beginning or end of the day and then taken home by an adult. No pets will be allowed to roam free.
Use of Telephone
The office telephone is intended for school business only. No personal calls, please. If a child becomes ill, the teacher or secretary will place the call to the parent. Parents should avoid calling their child during school hours, except in an emergency. Students are not to use the telephone without approval. Students should not use paging devices and cell phones during school hours. Failure to comply will result in the device being taken away and can only be returned to a parent. If there is a second offense, the student will not be allowed to bring the device on school property again.
Parents/Guardians of enrolled students are encouraged to visit the school. Arrangements for such visits should be made with the teacher in advance.
School-age visitors are allowed a 1-day visit per school year. Written permission must be acquired through the school office prior to visit. All dress standards must be followed by visitor.
Others without any family member enrolled are allowed one visit per semester when advance arrangements have been made with the school. Dress standards apply.
Exception: Hot Lunch Day – Family and church members are encouraged to have lunch with us when we serve hot lunches. Please let us know in advance so that we can prepare enough food. Please limit visit to 1 hour or less.
When a student withdraws from school all textbooks including consumables are to be returned to the school; also, library books and any other school property/equipment. A withdrawal form must be obtained from school office and completed. Please remember your student’s account must be paid in full (See Past Due Accounts on page 10 of handbook for the action taken for failure to pay).
A Parting Word
Often as one reads a handbook of any kind the tendency is to come away with the idea that it is a list of do’s and don’ts, which, of course, in some ways it is. However, we want to assure you that at the Bentonville Seventh-day Adventist School, we major in the majors and minor in the minors. That means that in the classroom and on the playground we major in lifting up Christ to our students. We major in building our relationship and our students’ relationships with Jesus. We major in teaching the 3 R’s plus a whole lot more.
As parents read this handbook carefully and take care of the important, but more minor things, before their children come to school, teachers can then concentrate their efforts on doing what they love most: TEACHING!
We pray you will consider sending your children to the Bentonville Seventh-day Adventist School. God has a plan for each of their lives. We want to have a part in that plan.
K-12 Complaint Procedure
FOR STUDENTS, PARENTS, TEACHERS, AND SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS
STEP ONE: Initial Concern Discussed
A. When a concern arises, the individual with the concern must meet and speak directly to the teacher or principal involved about that concern, seeking understanding and resolution. The concern may be expressed in writing as well as verbally.
B. The concern shall not progress to Step Two until Step One has been fulfilled.
C. Both parties are expected to write a brief summary of this initial meeting if the concern is not resolved.
D. It is considered unethical to discuss the concern with a third party before Step One has been completed.
STEP TWO: Initial Concern Unresolved
A. If the initial concern is unresolved at Step One, the principal/head teacher will set a time convenient to both parties to meet together to discuss the concern seeking resolution. Both parties will present the principal/head teacher with their written summaries of the initial meeting.
B. If the principal/head teacher is included in the initial concern, the school board chairman will become involved and follow the procedures outlined in Step Two A.
C. The principal or school board chairman will keep written documentation of this meeting and request both parties to sign the completed summary.
D. It is considered unethical to discuss the concern with individuals not related to the problem.
STEP THREE: School Board Chairman or Superintendent Involved
A. If the concern is unresolved at Step Two the school board chairman will set a time convenient to the principal/head teacher, the individual with the concern, and the teacher involved to seek resolution to the problem. The signed documentation from Step Two will be presented at this meeting.
B. If the school board chairman was involved in Step Two, the ARKLA Conference educational superintendent or designee will also be present.
C. The local church pastor(s) will be invited to attend this meeting.
D. The school board chairman or designee will keep written documentation of this meeting, and request all parties attending the meeting to sign a completed summary.
STEP FOUR: School Board Involved
A. If the concern is unresolved at Step Three, the school board chairman will invite the concerned individuals to appear at the next school board meeting. The signed documentation from Step Three will be presented at the meeting.
B. The ARKLA Conference educational superintendent or designee will be present.
C. The concerned individuals will be given opportunity to express their complaint and the teacher or principal will be given opportunity to reply. The school board members may question both parties.
D. After this questioning period both the concerned individuals and the teacher or principal will be asked to leave the room while the board decides if this is a parent/student problem, a teacher/principal problem, or a combination of both.
E. If this is a parent/student problem it will be dealt with according to policy in the school handbook and Southwestern Union educational policy. This conclusion reached by the board will be given to the parent in written form and the matter will be closed.
F. If this is a teacher/principal problem this process will progress to Step Five.
G. The discussions and conclusions will be kept confidential by all parties involved.
H. The school board will evaluate the situation to determine if new school policies and procedures should be implemented to avoid similar problems in the future or to correct the current problem.
I. At no time during a school board meeting may a complaint against a faculty member be presented without first having followed the procedures outlined in the previous steps.
STEP FIVE: Teacher/Principal Problem
A. If it is determined by the school board in the presence of the educational superintendent that the concerns are due to teacher/principal problems, the problems will be concisely outlined in writing by the educational superintendent and presented to the teacher/principal along with expectations to correct the problem. A procedure to evaluate the expected changes will also be determined. A copy of the problems, the expectations, and the evaluation procedure will also be shared with the school board chairman.
B. After approximately 60 days the teacher’s/principal’s progress will be evaluated with a copy of the results given to the teacher/principal and the school board chairman. If expected progress is not evidenced the superintendent will send the teacher/principal a letter outlining the seriousness of the situation.
C. After a second 60 day period the teacher’s/principal’s progress will be evaluated again with a copy of the results given to the teacher/principal and the school board chairman. If adequate progress has been made the concerns will be considered closed and a letter of appreciation given to the teacher/principal for their accomplishment by the superintendent. If adequate progress has not been made the superintendent will send the teacher/principal a letter informing the teacher that expected progress is not happening and that an administrative transfer to a new location may be necessary. If at all possible the transfer is not to take place during the school year.
D. At the end of the second 60-day period the school board, with the superintendent present, will determine if the teacher can continue to function effectively in the school or if the K-12 Board will be asked to transfer the teacher to a new location.